The mobile revolution--using smartphone apps to prevent cardiovascular disease

Nat Rev Cardiol. 2015 Jun;12(6):350-60. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2015.34. Epub 2015 Mar 24.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally. Mobile technology might enable increased access to effective prevention of CVDs. Given the high penetration of smartphones into groups with low socioeconomic status, health-related mobile applications might provide an opportunity to overcome traditional barriers to cardiac rehabilitation access. The huge increase in low-cost health-related apps that are not regulated by health-care policy makers raises three important areas of interest. Are apps developed according to evidenced-based guidelines or on any evidence at all? Is there any evidence that apps are of benefit to people with CVD? What are the components of apps that are likely to facilitate changes in behaviour and enable individuals to adhere to medical advice? In this Review, we assess the current literature and content of existing apps that target patients with CVD risk factors and that can facilitate behaviour change. We present an overview of the current literature on mobile technology as it relates to prevention and management of CVD. We also evaluate how apps can be used throughout all age groups with different CVD prevention needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cell Phone*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Mobile Applications* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Mobile Applications* / standards